Showcase Question

I go to this White Sox area code tryout, and the first thing the guy tells us is that he will never look at a radar gun. Is he serious or do they really not care how hard you throw. I mean, I was heard that velocity gets you there then movement keeps you around. Also I am 15 and will be entering my junior year. I am 6’2" about 200 and throw 83 mph. Is this just about average or what. I know its nothing too special.

i went to a white sox tryout and they had a radar gun…only two people at the tryout broke 90 and one had been cut by the twins recently

Throwing 95+ will easily get you a job in the minors, it is wheather or not you can control and harness the 95+ fastball that will keep you in the system. If you have a sharp breaking ball, a good change and a good fastball, by the book you should be fairly successful, but the way baseball is, this is not always the case. Not everyone will agree with me, but control is really the most important asset to a pitcher. You don’t have to have an overpowering fastball to be successful, controlling each one of your pitches will give you a good chance. The perfect example of this is Mike Mussina. He throws 92 MPH tops, but he can effectively control all of his pitches and change speeds very well. His changeup is usually around 69-71 MPH.

Some scouts believe or not do not look at the radar gun but this can be misleading. First off scouts or just baseball people who have been around the game long enough can tell very closely how hard a kid is throwing. For example just about any scout can tell the difference between 88 and 80. That is partly why they do what they do. Secondly a scout may not want to get caught up in the 90 MPH rule. What i mean by that is, is there really a difference between a flat 90 mph and an 88 mph pitch with movement? Actually yes the one with movement matters more. A good fastball will catch the eye of scouts and coaches but command, offspeed, and composure can be just as important. Also 83 mph at your age is just fine. The other day during the Super Regionals they were talkin about a Left hander who threw 84-86 but had good command and good offspeed. You have a few years of growing so you can easily pass that. Just remember Velocity can only get you so far.